Blueberries: Featured Ingredient

I’ve been loading up my morning smoothies with these little beauties lately. They’re a lot easier to find in the summer and a lot sweeter, too. One of the sure signs of summer is fresh, local blueberries on the farmers market stands. You may love them for their sweet-tart taste, but make no mistake, blueberries are among the best foods for you. Their vibrant blue colour gives blueberries their health benefits. Flavonoids, which create the pigments, work as antioxidants and may help reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Before you buy, consider freshness: the fresher the berries, the better tasting. So choose locally grown, in-season fruits, or better yet, grow your own! And pick organic when you can, to avoid pesticide residues.

Blueberries contain potent antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and may also curb the growth of cancer cells. Just 3.5 ounces provide the equivalent antioxidant capacity of five servings of some other fruits and vegetables, including broccoli and kale, so theyre potent against heart-, brain- and age-related illnesses. Theyre also a good source of fiber, vitamin C and iron. Blueberries may protect against some intestinal upsets and urinary tract infections.

Try blueberries in these glasses of goodness

To learn more about the health benefits of blueberries, as well as growing information, be sure to check out the summer issue of Canadian Gardening magazine (on newsstands in July).